You may remember my post about a fellow thyroid cancer survivor, Jamie Frey. Her story is gut-wrenching and demonstrates just how far thyroid cancer patients have to go to get adequate treatment.
Well, Jamie’s story continues in a way that should outrage everyone. In order to survive thyroid cancer for the 5th time, she had to endure 28 (yes, 28) rounds of external beam radiation. While the treatment worked to put her cancer in remission, the havoc it caused her body has been devastating. As is common with external beam radiation to the head and neck area, in addition to six rounds of Radioactive Iodine treatments, Jamie’s teeth have been completely destroyed. Now, you would think that any work needed to be done to repair this damage would be covered by insurance especially since it was a result of having cancer: think again.
None of the dental work she needs is covered by insurance, and she is now looking at having to spend over $31,000 (possibly more) just to be able to repair/replace her teeth and have a functional jaw again. Of course, this is on top of the thousands upon thousands of dollars she has already spent having to fight off thyroid cancer, and the long term effects of losing her thyroid. Imagine the financial, emotional and physical toll thyroid cancer has had on Jamie, who is now 34 and has been fighting this “good cancer” since just after she graduated high school in 1999. It’s hard to fathom, and even harder for Jamie who struggles every single day with excruciating pain because of her teeth. The sad truth is: there is no place for Jamie to go to get the financial help she needs in order to pay for the care she needs. There are no big cancer organizations or walks to raise money for thyroid cancer survivors, like Jamie. Ironically, thyroid cancer survivors have an increased risk of bankruptcy than patients of any other type of cancer.
While I could go on and on (as you well know) about this issue, the point of this post is that my friend desperately needs our help. She has exhausted all of her funds on years of treatment, and has nothing left. The only way she will be able to afford the dental work she needs to repair her teeth is of we help her raise those funds. So I am asking that anyone reading this post please consider donating any amount of money to Jamie’s Go Fund Me page. Every dollar will help get Jamie one step closer to treatment!